MEP Influence Index 2024: Top MEPs shaping EU Budget

MEP Influence Index 2024: Top MEPs shaping EU Budget

This analysis measures the influence that Members of the European Parliament are exerting over EU legislation and documents that shape EU Budget. It is part of a series of reports that includes:

This research measures MEPs’ influence through a combination of criteria clustered in the following categories: formal and informal leadership positions, actual legislative work, political network, committee membership and voting behavior. 

Disclaimer: this is an assessment based on our team's 15+ years of experience in interpreting relevant EU socio-political data. The aim of this research is not to provide an "absolute truth", but rather to provide an indicative overview. As in any such research, the weighing of the criteria may contain an intrinsic degree of subjectivity, which we aimed to reduce by consulting with a wide range of analysts and practitioners. To read the full methodology, click here.

Key findings:

  • The top 5 most influential MEPs shaping EU Budget policy are: José Manuel Fernandes (EPP BUDG Coordinator and active legislator on InvestEU and STEP programmes), Olivier Chastel (BUDG Vice-Chair & Renew CONT Coordinator and key legislator on European Globalisation Adjustment Fund), Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D BUDG Coordinator and active legislator on Recovery and Resilience Facility), Johan Van Overtveldt (BUDG Chair and influential legislator on Just Transition Mechanism) and Ryszard Czarnecki (ECR CONT Coordinator and top legislator on the discharge of the European Union agencies). See the full top 10 below.
  • The influence on this topic tends to be evenly distributed across the main political families. When it comes to national groups, Romanians and Bulgarians lead from among the CEE delegations, the Finns stand out among the “frugals”, while the Belgians are also strongly represented. See the full stats below.

More details on the above findings can be found below.

Important: when tracking influence over EU policies, always bear in mind that while individual MEPs are the visible signatories of initiatives or amendments, they are not operating in an information vacuum. Rather, their views and actions are shaped by bigger political and societal forces / pressures that surround them and that they are networking with.

To understand the full picture, you need to look at the strength of these forces and the direction in which they are pushing and pulling. For example, the chart below shows the level of influence of all MEPs on budget issues, but also the direction in which each of them is working to influence the debate on the EU own resources, e.g. whether they are supporters of additional own resources for the EU budget or they are opposing them. Particular attention should be paid to the MEPs who are in the middle, i.e. they have both a fair level of influence and moderate views, because in the current fragmented political landscape, these MEPs (swing voters) are the ones that make the difference, i.e. their votes are the ones that decide whether a key paragraph is approved or not. 

Note: the positions of the MEPs in the chart below on the horizontal axis is based on an assessment of their voting behavior on a wide range of paragraphs and amendments on this particular sector.

Note: in the chart above, only the names of top MEPs are revealed. To uncover the full picture, contact us at [email protected].

The visual below shows our assessment of the most influential 10 MEPs in this sector (scroll to the right to see the full list). 

The list is also available as a table format here.

NB: at least 3 of these top 10 MEPs are likely to come back after the elections. Would you like to know which ones? Contact us at [email protected] for more information on our EP2024 elections info-pack (which includes likely MEPs, Commissioners, policy impact, and much more). 

In addition to the top 10 most influential MEPs, we have found it interesting to identify the MEPs from each group that has had the most "personalised" views (i.e. different from those of their political group), on either side of the debate. In other words, who is the most to the right and to the left of their political group on this chart. This is based on the analysis of their voting behavior on a wide range of relevant paragraphs and amendments impacting on this sector. These findings are represented below. 

Trends by political group 

Although EPP and ECR have a strong representation in our top 10, the broader picture of MEPs influence shows us that Renew and S&D members have a slight edge on their EPP colleagues (when looking at their proportional influence). Overall, the power on this sensitive topic is rather evenly distributed across the main political families.

Trends by country

Also the power is evenly distributed across the different EU regions. Among CEE; Romanians and Bulgarians are the most influential (proportionally to their size), whereas Finnish lead the debate among the more “frugal” delegations. Belgian MEPs also stand out for their budgetary activities, with two Belgians making to our top 10 list.

If you are an institutional or socio-economic stakeholder and you are interested in a workshop about EU elections and/or the functioning of the EU institutions, contact us at [email protected]. 

Scroll back up to check our research in other sectors. 

Related posts